May is Beef Month. An essential part of the U.S. diet, beef is consumed as a hand-held hamburger, a fine prime rib in a steakhouse and as a day-to-day ingredient in sauces, stews or savory fillings—just to name a few uses. It never goes out of style in restaurants or home kitchens.
Nearly a quarter (23%) of consumers say they will be trying to eat more beef over the next year, according to Technomic’s 2019 Center of the Plate: Beef and Pork Consumer Trend Report. Some of that beef will be consumed at home, and much of it will be eaten in restaurants or taken home for a meal. InTechnomic’s Beef and Pork Consumer Trend Report, 42% of respondents say they would like restaurants to offer a wider variety of beef entrees. Why do diners like beef so much?
Beef is a healthy food
People looking to build a healthy diet often turn to beef, which can be a lean food and has top protein values. Technomic’s Beef and Pork reportfound that47% of consumers say they think beef is healthy or very healthy. These opinions lead to increased consumption of beef both at home and in restaurants.
What difference does a label make?
As part of the focus on health, people are reading labels and menu descriptions with close attention to how cattle are raised and if they are certified for certain attributes. According to Technomic’s Beef and Pork report, 37% ofconsumers say they find USDA-certified beef appealing, 19% say they find natural health claims appealing and 16% say humanely raised beef is appealing.
Consumers look for sustainably raised beef
Consumers are also increasingly aware of sustainability practices, which protect the land to the greatest degree possible. In Technomic’s Beef and Pork report, 48% of consumers say that it’s important to them that the land isn’t negatively impacted because of the way beef cattle are raised. Sustainably raised beef is an important description for these consumers. In addition, 46% of consumers say it’s important to them to know in which country the beef they eat was raised. This focus on sourcing again points to greater consumer awareness of the origins of their food.
One way for retailers to attract customers looking for these claims is with the Progressive Beef™ program from Tyson Fresh Meats. The pillars of Progressive Beef are sustainability, food safety and cattle care, with the goal of having satisfied customers and a strong bottom line—while also embracing proven practices for ensuring cattle is well cared for in a safe and sustainable environment. Beef with Progressive Beef labeling can help appeal to shoppers looking for sustainable meats.
May is just the beginning
With a significant number of consumers interested in new ways to prepare and eat beef, the spotlight on this meat is likely to continue past May. New recipes and old favorites will continue to elevate beef, with increasing consumer interest in sustainability, natural beef and practices that protect the cattle, the land and the health of consumers.
This post is sponsored by Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc.